The Russian president spoke on Thursday, December 23, 2021, on the case of the caricature of the Prophet Muhammad that had provoked the ire of the Muslim community around the world. Without questioning the right to freedom of expression that is widely brandished by the French authorities, the Russian head of state finds that “it is an attack on the freedom of belief of Muslims.” For him, indeed, every citizen is free to express his opinions but this must be done exclusively in respect of the beliefs and convictions of others. In his traditional address to the nation at the end of the year, he thus gave a viaticum for peace in the world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin took advantage of his traditional end-of-year press conference on 23 December 2021 to support the legitimacy of the anger of Muslims following the caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, symbol of the Muslim religion. “There is no doubt that without freedom, we cannot move forward, and a sad future awaits us, dark and without perspective. But it must be understood that this freedom somehow contradicts the objectives for which we encourage it, when it faces the freedom of another person,’ he said.
The Russian politician also said that this provocative and disrespectful behaviour justifies mood movements among Muslim extremists, which unfortunately leads to violence that is difficult to control. “Insults against the Prophet Muhammad, what is it? Is it the freedom of creation? I think not. It is an attack on the freedom of belief and religious sentiments of Muslims. And this provokes other demonstrations, even more acute and extremist. For example, in Paris, they went to Charlie Hebdo’s house and gunned down the entire newsroom. So why allow such things to happen?” he wondered.
Vladimir Putin finally indicated that Russia is a responsible country that does not joke with the beliefs of the people. In principle, freedom must stop where the freedom of others begins. “Russia is a multinational and multi-faith state, and we are used to respecting the traditions of the peoples of our country. In other countries, there is sometimes a lack of such a communication culture,’ the Russian president said.